Kansas City artist Bernadette Esperanza Torres is a storyteller who communicates with her hands, translating stories into clay. Her sculptures are autobiographical narratives sometimes with hand-built soft slap female Mexican/Italian full figures, flower mounds platters and animal imagery in clay. “My ceramic sculptures serve as spirit guides that manifest intentions, relieve anxieties and whisper secrets”, says Bernadette. As a florist’s daughter, flowers are intrinsic to her sculptures. Flowers are always present at monumental life changing ceremonies, and for Bernadette, represent the fragility of life. “I enjoy their bright unique colors in the short life of a dying flower wishing they would bloom forever.”

Bernadette’s technique of throwing on the wheel and hand building female figures and assembling each flower allows the viewer to have a personal connection with the clay and forms. This intimacy is imperative for her to process her emotions and stories into clay and create meaning with images. The manipulating of clay not only creates sculptures, but also “shapes” her as an artist, an educator, and as a woman